BY ELEANOR GRIGSON
Education is a human right. Access to education will improve the quality of life. This article considers how the education of women can lead to smaller families. The education of women is what is known as a ‘preventative check’ on birth rates. This means that it lowers the amount of children that women have. There are a number of factors behind this.
Women who have been educated about contraception and family planning are able to plan when they have children. Health education, such as by community workers, or from government health programmes, gives women the option to have fewer children if they want to. Some people think that education is the most important factor behind smaller family sizes, because it teaches women that they have the right to choose when to have children, and how many to have. Research says that there is a ‘need’ for more family planning education. Lots of women would choose to have fewer children if they had this knowledge.
Women who stay in school longer are less likely to get married at a young age. An education will give them the opportunity to have a career, and happiness in adult life away from the domestic home. Having children at a young age can hurt your education. So educated women start having children later, and have fewer children over the course of their lives.
Women who have stayed at school for longer get better jobs. This improves their standards of living. They might then want to have fewer children to maintain this standard. Also, women with fewer children and more money can also focus their resources and time on the children they have. This improves the quality of life for everyone, creating more opportunities, choices, and freedoms.
Female education is also one of the biggest factors in life expectancy. Many people think that this is because women focus on getting rapid improvements in things like healthcare, sanitation, and schools for the sake of their children’s future.
So educated women start having children later and are able to decide when and how many children they will have. This means that they can focus on the children they do have. These children will have a better quality of life and more chances. They are more likely to be able to go to school themselves, repeating the pattern, and creating a sustained improvement in the quality of life.